Music Major: Composition Option B.A.

Music Major: Composition Option B.A.

Student and professor looking at a piece of music

What is a Bachelor of Arts in music composition?

Composition is the act of writing or creating musical works. This option within the music degree program at UNH allows you to fully explore your musical interests while also pursuing a broad liberal arts education. You’ll study music theory and analysis, the history and literature of music, world music and technical skills such as ear training and piano, and compose and perform music. This Bachelor of Arts degree option also requires study of a foreign language.

Why study music composition at UNH?

As a music student at UNH, you’ll study composition with nationally and internationally known composition faculty. You’ll be able to participate in the university’s dynamic undergraduate research conference, which each spring highlights performances of student composers’ works. Our ensembles include touring chamber and choral groups, as well as orchestras and bands that inspire from the stage to the football field. You’ll also be able to engage with the community through our many outreach programs. Take advantage of an exchange program in Cardiff, Wales, or pair music with another major, such as math or business.

Potential careers

  • Composer
  • Music arranger for military performing ensemble
  • Music industry executive
  • Music professor
  • Performer
  • Songwriter

Department of Music
Paul Creative Arts Center
30 Academic Way
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH  03824

Phone: (603) 862-2404
Fax: (603) 862-3155

Curriculum & Requirements

Students wanting to declare composition as their option must submit a music portfolio in addition to an audition on their major instrument.

The Discovery Program capstone requirement is fulfilled by a final project or a public performance given during the senior year. For students in the composition option, there is a choice of completing a half lecture, half lecture-recital, or a half recital including at least one original composition.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Major department courses may not be used to satisfy Discovery category requirements except in the case of a second major. B.A. in music majors may use MUSI 502 History and Literature of Music (a required core course for the major) to satisfy the Inquiry Discovery requirement.

Bachelor of Arts in Music Core Curriculum

MUSI 471
MUSI 472
Theory I
and Theory I
MUSI 473
MUSI 474
Ear Training I
and Ear Training I
MUSI 475
MUSI 476
Functional Piano I
and Functional Piano I 1
MUSI 571
MUSI 572
Theory II
and Theory II
MUSI 573
MUSI 574
Ear Training II
and Ear Training II
MUSI 575
MUSI 576
Functional Piano II
and Functional Piano II 1
MUSI 501
MUSI 502
History and Literature of Music
and History and Literature of Music
MUSI 515Music in World Cultures4
Advanced Music History: select one of the following3
Music of the Renaissance
Music of the Baroque
Music of the Classical Period
Music of the Romantic Period
Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries
Art Song
Survey of Opera
Select one of the following:3
Analysis: Form and Structure
Analysis: Form and Structure
Performance Study (Applied Lessons): select from the following coursesVariable
Performing Ensemble: select from the following courses 2Variable
Total Credits36

Music Composition Option Requirements

Degree program has plan approval from the National Association of Schools of Music.

Select 6 credits of the following:6
Analysis: Form and Structure
Analysis: Form and Structure
Select 8 credits of the following:8
Advanced Composition
MUSI 731Conducting2
Performance Study (Applied Lessons): select from the following courses4
Performing Ensemble: select from the following courses8
Total Credits28

Students in the composition option, if not in a lesson studio, will attend composition seminar.

Explore Program Details

Use this checklist to track your completion of major requirements. Always check with your advisor if you have any questions.

B.A., Music Major, Composition Option

For majors entering fall of 2014 or later

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